Schumer: Keep paying farmers for milk losses

US - With the prices paid to dairy farmers having fallen almost $2 since last November, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that a national milk program must be maintained.
calendar icon 6 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
"With prices down 12 percent from last year, the program is more important than ever," he said in a telephone press conference. "For many, it is the difference between staying afloat or sinking because of sudden drops in milk prices."

He talked about his efforts to renew the Milk Income Loss Contract during negotiations on renewal of the Farm Bill set to expire next year.

The national dairy program pays farmers when the Boston Class I price for fluid milk falls below $16.94 a hundredweight, with a cap of 2.4 million pounds. Most recently, the price has fallen below that floor in December and has been as low as $14.10 in September, before recovering $1 last month.

The price farmers actually receive is usually several dollars less.

Schumer said he would like to see the program’s cap doubled so more milk would be covered.

If the votes were there, he said, he would want a National Dairy Equity Act in place instead. That proposal would set up dairy compacts in several regions that would pay farmers from the marketplace, instead of through the general fund, as is currently the case.

Source: The Daily Star
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